Congrès 2016

Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future: Reconciliation

Zahura Ahmed, Congress student blogger

What kind of nation are we? What kind of nation do we want to be in the next 150 years? Cindy Blackstock, Executive Director of the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada, gave a compelling keynote at the “Sharing the Land, Sharing a Future” forum on Wednesday morning. Blackstock delivered a searing critique of government and academic inaction despite a history of studies, reports, Commissions, and recommendations. Approaching reconciliation through the lens of child welfare, she argued that in order to understand reconciliation, we must understand the Canadian state’s long history of placing itself between First Nations children and their families.

Blackstock stated that we too often perceive ourselves as benevolent, and in doing so we make excuses for our acts of omission as well as our minimal acts of justice. We are aware of the problems that Indigenous communities face, yet we...

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Imagining Canada’s Future/Imaginer l’avenir du Canada

What effects will the quest for energy and natural resources have on our society and our position on the world stage?

Quels effets la quête de ressources naturelles et d’énergie aura-t-elle sur la société canadienne et la place qu’occupe le Canada à l’échelle mondiale?

National forum organized by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in partnership with the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada.

Forum national organisé par le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada en partenariat avec la Fédération des sciences humaines du Canada

Concluding remarks /Quelques réflexions pour conclure”

Guy Laforest, MSRC
Président-élu, Fédération des sciences humaines du Canada
Professeur au département de science politique de l’Université Laval


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Thank you, volunteers!

Dear volunteers of the Congress for the Social Sciences and Humanities,

On behalf of myself and the entire Federation of the Social Sciences and Humanities I would like to extend a sincere thank you to each and every one of you. It is because of your hard work and dedication that the 85th edition of Canada’s largest interdisciplinary gathering of scholars and researchers was able to run with such ease.

During these past eight days, you have performed a number of essential duties that has supported the University of Calgary’s and the Federation for Social Sciences and Humanities production of Congress. Whether you were a volunteer in accommodation, audio-visual, hospitality, the mobile team, campus guide or a shuttle and event assistant, you played an essential role to the successful outcome of this year’s Congress and in providing a warm Western welcome to nearly 8,000 participants. The time and commitment you have dedicated to...

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Big Thinking speaker calls for compromise in the debate over trade and food security

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

In the final installment of the Big Thinking lecture series at this year’s Congress, Professor Jennifer Clapp (University of Waterloo) called for an end to polarization and the beginning of compromise and collaboration in the debate over trade and food security. Clapp began her lecture by framing the issue of food security: that more than 800 million people worldwide are chronically undernourished, and that many of those people are poor agriculturalists living in countries dependent on food imports.

Those seeking solutions to this and related issues of food security generally fall into two diametrically opposed ideological camps: those who see trade as the solution, and those who see it as the problem.

The pro-trade point of view argues that comparative advantage should increase production and efficiency, improve food distribution, and that market distortions (like tariffs and...

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Workshop offers alternate model for student engagement in and out of the classroom

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

On June 2 at Congress 2016, Lisa Stowe (University of Calgary) lead a special session of Career Corner hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the University of Calgary entitled Flip your classroom to increase student engagement. Stowe laid out an alternative to traditional lecturing by creating a community of learners in the classroom and by breaking down the traditional boundaries between instructors and students.

This community of learners is formed by literally flipping the environments in which new content is disseminated to students and in which students demonstrate knowledge of and make use of said content. In the flip method, new material is assigned as “homework” (in the form of online resources such as podcasts, YouTube clips and PowerPoint presentations), while creative engagement with that material is performed in the classroom.


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The Harper Decade: reflecting on ten years of Conservative government

Zahura Ahmed, Congress student blogger

From 2006 to 2015, Canadian federal politics were marked by the distinctive leadership style and priorities of Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party. From domestic and foreign policy, to institutions and structures, little in Canadian politics was left untouched. This morning, three prominent Conservative Canadians, Preston Manning, Ian Brodie, and Tom Flanagan, provided their reflections on the ‘Harper Decade’ at Congress 2016.

The three panelists spoke about Harper’s legacy, including their views on what were his major accomplishments as well as missteps. They highlighted his role in consolidating a strong new Conservative Party that was able to hold power and the support of many Canadians for so long. Panelists commented that under Stephen Harper the geopolitical centre of gravity of the party and Canadian politics shifted to the right, demonstrating that this is possible, which represents his...

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Canada’s Energy Paradox

Zahura Ahmed, Congress 2016 student blogger

How do we reconcile the fact that our economy is driven by fossil fuels while facing an urgent need to transition to a low-carbon energy system? This is a contentious issue that is on the minds of many political leaders around the world, and was addressed by  one of Canada’s leading writers and speakers on sustainability, Chris Turner, at an event hosted by the Environmental Studies Association  at Congress 2016.

Turner began with a blunt fact: leaders have recently been making grand promises about renewable technologies, when it is in fact impossible to fulfill such promises in their suggested timeframes due to the world’s reliance on fossil fuels. While reducing this reliance is the most urgent priority  of our time, it will take decades to do so--this is a problem that is multi-generational. Turner believes that the scope of the problem and the duration of the response has been misrepresented,...

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Workshop panelists offer sage advice on expanding your research methodologies

Caleb Snider, Congress 2016 student blogger

During their June 1st Career Corner workshop at Congress 2016Can we all get along? Bridging the quantitative-qualitative divide (hosted by SAGE Publishing and the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences), Professors Alex Clark (University of Alberta), Ian Milligan (University of Waterloo), and Michael Young (Royal Roads University) offered advice on developing comprehensive methodologies that embrace both the quantitative and the qualitative.

Professor Clark spoke about how qualitative method users need to learn how to speak to the gatekeepers of certain specialist journals who are more familiar with quantitative methodologies in order to get their work published. He gave three critical pieces of advice: care about methods by talking, sharing, writing and publishing about your methodology and ontology (he suggested Twitter as a great place to start); be crystal...

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